Monday, June 12, 2017

New survey reveals startling facts that everyone suspected were true anyway



●     Legendary "Milk for Colombo" not so good for health after all, says CRaP report

●     Gamata Kakiri movement grows following launch

 

Al Juhara/Colombo:

Hard-hitting Colombo based think-tank the Centre for Regional Alternative Proposals (CR-P) recently issued a timely and voluminous piece of ground-breaking research on the subject of Human Satisfaction in Rural Sri Lanka in the backdrop of "kakiri" consumption statistics, based on a three year long research exercise which involved thousands of interviews, field trips and Focus Group Discussions (ie meeting with people) and a budget of only $ 2 million.

Startling findings from the epoch-making 240 pg survey, which was printed sparing no expense since it was funded by gullible generous Nordic Donors, conclude that rural humans in Sri Lanka are actually happier than they look, in spite of a bucolic diet of previously maligned vegetables like manioc, talana batu and the supposedly inferior "Kakiri" of yore.

 

"The report is well researched, thought provoking and printed on expensive glossy paper," MD of Barbell Printers, the CRaP regular pointed out enthusiastically when interviewed at the launch, concluding that "I recommend it as a Must Read." He added that he was available for similar contracts and had extensive experience in printing CRaP reports.

Findings include the conclusion that Colombo folks who regularly imbibe of "Kiri" or the expensive imported dairy products are known to be prey to diabetes, cholesterol, obesity and a general discontent in life stemming from a feeling that regular village folks have it good after all.

 

The revolutionary survey which also compared such factors as air and sound pollution levels, commuter density and  the price of Tea in China, went on to conclude that nothing really changes and urban people keep looking for greener pastures wherever they are anyway.

 

In contrast the grassroots appears to be witnessing a revolution in terms of a reverse flow of youth who will NOT be migrating to the urban metropolises but instead will be content to continue farming and living the pastoral life, satisfied with a simple diet of fibrous organic vegetables and exhilarating five mile treks to the pharmacy around twice a year when they need a Panadol.

"It's always a case of us ending up with Kakiri but now we are realising the health benefits of its roughage and antioxidant properties and lack of 'bad' cholesterol," according to citizen PunchiSingho hailing from Thooththukudiya, famed for its legendary inaccessibility.

 

 

BOX

Produced in all the official languages of Sri Lanka, in four colour, on 250 GSM artboard paper, and weighing a mere 1.2 kg, this NGO report is a true collector's item and can also be used as an ornamental conversation piece, to prop up  a lopsided coffee table,  and even in self defense. More information at www.craplanka.lk

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Check that Need




 

(old article written 7 years ago and guess what Im still running around! Photo from http://zenchick.com)

Last Sunday, I slowed down.

I mean, seriously:  I was fed up with running around, beating deadlines, meeting schedules, pleasing other people and doing my duties like a perfect person – I went on a small discrete personal strike and took a cruise down the highway with my speedometer set at 20 kmph.

Now finally I can in fact recommend everyone to try this once at least ... It changes perception, it puts things in proportion, and it totally surprises. Its almost as funny as being able to put the rest of the world in fast forward and sitting back watching their curious antics with total detachment.

Well, this is how it felt.

The rest of the country seems to be obsessed with speed. Sonic wooshes as cars, lorries and bikes overtook on a race somewhere where good things were happening, where regular mortals did not want to be left out. (And since this was Sunday morning it could not be the office crowd or the Sunday evening crowd returning from their families outstationed…) so there was I sitting day dreaming about life and time and the need for speed…

Ever noticed how rushed people are today ? Stop, slow down a minute and look around . From around day break when the school vans wake non school going people rudely with their raucous honking, to the daily rushes at banks for example and finally the evening daily office returning crush; are all these desperate house husbands really speeding and cussing and ploughing their way HOME? You wonder- are there so many dedicated family men on the roads at 5 30 pm or is it something else Im missing? Are these guys ALL running home to help the wife with dinner or take over the toddlers so that Missis can put her feet up and  take a break?? wow!!Im impressed !…

 People are so obsessed with getting to the head of the queue or winning this race, the man in front of you moves half a step and the man behind you is practically panting down your neck to urge you on. And trust me  the "ladies" in ATM queues are worse, they actually poke you with the edges of their check books or umbrellas or sharp things which you don't dare turn around to face…

The amazing thing about this modern rush is that it happens in a time when science has fine tuned time saving devices to next to absolute perfection. Civilization never took less time than this to , for example, get you your so called "daily bread" and no, lets be honest, its not the price of that bread which is keeping our noses to the grindstone.

Coffee machines make your beverage in two minutes, rice cookers, pressure cookers and washing machines finish your work for you unsupervised and grinding grain and curry powders is the work of minutes, and the ubiquitous computer spews out spreadsheets and reports that would have taken months in a matter of seconds. Isn't it wonderful. Just one question-  where did all that saved time go? You would think it meant that we can  practice a minute or two  of patient

​Tai Chi
 , when we are in hospital cashiers queue, instead of scuffing the heels of the person in front?

The cost of living is high but then that's not what kills us, its this need for speed, because we don't eat properly, take walks or exercise and we don't talk to our parents or children any more,let alone having a meaningful conversation with someone who may actually need us, or time for a pet.

 Before you know it you are hit by diabetes, cholestrol and thickened arteries not to mention a whole horde of mental hang ups caused by the sheer stress of the race- and this too in a time where things have never been quicker ,easier and smoother than right now.

There was admittedly a time when people got around by bullock carts and elephants which mean maximum speed was about 20 kmph. A time when you did your own laundry near some well, with the birds singing around nearby and took time off to grow your own vegetables and cook them slowly over wood fires. And there weren't these wonderful ATM machines which saved your time, or the Internet over which you could manage your finances without having to step out onto the street in the first place.

Did all of that give us more quality family time? And if not, what happened?

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Return to Nirvana



I must say I have lost the ability to work well under pressure. Frankly I just crack up and start screaming and keening pathetically. Its a drag on my family the two or three individuals that I do have left. It makes me wonder what happened to the quiet laid back person I was. I was happy at one time. 
In a way maybe that is part of how the world runs, you cant always be in one state. No there are many states you are in and you will be in. You may seem like the same image on the surface of it but underneath you may seethe and writhe and struggle like a fish in a drying pond. Thats part of what this cosmos seems to be about, us feeling and us reacting. We have been given sensory organs to feel. Living would not be the same if we didnt have eyes, ears, skin, tastebuds, the sense of smell and a mind which grasps all the stimuli we throw at it. But then you wonder if living is all it has been made out to be. Maybe there is an existence which is more satisfactory than this living which is being battered and blown about by this organic organism we are tied to on this Earth. Not another planet but another plane, where things are always Om and that is never boring...

Friday, March 03, 2017

The Poor the Old and the Ugly

     
(these photos are merely representative, but closely representative actually)


So last MOnday I struggled to my halfway halt and had to embark a bus at about 7pm to get home. It was the wrong bus and would only get me half way there but it was late so I was desperate. I sat next to a dear elderly lady of, perhaps late sixties. In a while she told me worriedly that she was taking medications which made her sleepy and to please wake her if we came to the Galagedera bus halt. She pulled out a left leg, which looked like it was from a horror movie about leprosy and filaria combined and elaborated that she had these sores which had worsened over the years and there was a "germ in her body" for which she was taking medications for a long time. She described in some detail the appearance of the kind of pastules that she had had to suffer on her lower body, saying they looked like the "naval" in Kawum. I frankly did not want to know any of this and sat quite still. Then she started coughing, and with the bus starting up, I realised that each cough was coming my way with the wind from the window. She told me sadly that the medications she had been taking for months did not seem to be working. She had t o travel anyway, because she was a poor woman, and she sold fruits at some market place, so as to earn some money for the food. the bags of fruits left behind from Mondays sales, were collected around her oozing feet. 
Ok what would you have done?
personally I froze in a rictus of (hopefully irrational?) terror, tried not to breath much, but told her I would tell her the halt, and also continued to discuss her problem with her. Because you know, this could be you or me, too, except that we temporarily feel privileged and feel it wont happen to us. If you look at the statistics, it can happen to anyone.
Im a Buddhist. Buddhism works in the face of festering diseases, leprosy, filaria, AIDS, suffering starvation and old age. Because all that stuff about a powerful God who made a pretty world, tends to fall apart when you look at people like this. Is it because they prayed to the wrong God? Do you seriously mean to tell me there are no Christians or Muslims praying properly to the right God who do not have diseases and who do not face old age and feebleness?
Anyway here she was and there I was.
and the statistics are that one in every four people in Sri Lanka will be old, by 2040. 

Being old, if we go on neglecting our health, and not making plans for our future,
​our old age statistically speaking mostly ​
involves illness, feebleness, and often even NCDs such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and its complications, and worse, upto even paralysis.
​ ​ Poverty added to this, as well as an administrative structure which does not help the elderly at all is just about right to make such a future well nigh intolerable.
 
And Im ashamed to say that before she got down at Galagedera I got up and walked to the front of the bus, without helping her.

Because I didnt actually want her to brush too closely against me as she got down, and I didnt want to touch her bags, and I wanted nothing to do with her. 
Im sorry, but seriously I have enough problems of my own at the moment and I didnt need more, and I did not need to worry about having more.

Im average, that way. 
​Are you a better person?​




The Poor the Old and the Ugly

     
(these photos are merely representative, but closely representative actually)


So last MOnday I struggled to my halfway halt and had to embark a bus at about 7pm to get home. It was the wrong bus and would only get me half way there but it was late so I was desperate. I sat next to a dear elderly lady of, perhaps late sixties. In a while she told me worriedly that she was taking medications which made her sleepy and to please wake her if we came to the Galagedera bus halt. She pulled out a left leg, which looked like it was from a horror movie about leprosy and filaria combined and elaborated that she had these sores which had worsened over the years and there was a "germ in her body" for which she was taking medications for a long time. She described in some detail the appearance of the kind of pastules that she had had to suffer on her lower body, saying they looked like the "naval" in Kawum. I frankly did not want to know any of this and sat quite still. Then she started coughing, and with the bus starting up, I realised that each cough was coming my way with the wind from the window. She told me sadly that the medications she had been taking for months did not seem to be working. She had t o travel anyway, because she was a poor woman, and she sold fruits at some market place, so as to earn some money for the food. the bags of fruits left behind from Mondays sales, were collected around her oozing feet. 
Ok what would you have done?
personally I froze in a rictus of (hopefully irrational?) terror, tried not to breath much, but told her I would tell her the halt, and also continued to discuss her problem with her. Because you know, this could be you or me, too, except that we temporarily feel privileged and feel it wont happen to us. If you look at the statistics, it can happen to anyone.
Im a Buddhist. Buddhism works in the face of festering diseases, leprosy, filaria, AIDS, suffering starvation and old age. Because all that stuff about a powerful God who made a pretty world, tends to fall apart when you look at people like this. Is it because they prayed to the wrong God? Do you seriously mean to tell me there are no Christians or Muslims praying properly to the right God who do not have diseases and who do not face old age and feebleness?
Anyway here she was and there I was.
and the statistics are that one in every four people in Sri Lanka will be old, by 2040. 
Being old, if we go on neglecting our health, and not making plans for our future, involves illness, feebleness, and often even NCDs such as heart disease, hypertension, diabetes and its complications, and worse, upto even paralysis. 
And Im ashamed to say that before she got down at Galagedera I got up and walked to the front of the bus, without helping her.
Because I didnt actually want her to brush too closely against me as she got down, and I didnt want to touch her bags, and I wanted nothing to do with her. Im sorry, but seriously I have enough problems of my own at the moment and I didnt need more, and I did not need to worry about having more.
Im average, that way. 


Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Handy Phrases

A few handy Arabic phrases translated to English -- in case you're ever kidnapped by terrorists. 
AKBAR KHALI-KILI HAFTIR LOFTAN.= Thank you for showing me your marvelous gun.
FEKR GABUL CARDAN DAVAT RAEH GUSH DIVAR.= I am delighted to accept your kind invitation to lie down on the floor with my arms above my head and my legs apart. SHOMAEH FIKR TAMOMEH GEH GOFTEK BANDE.= I agree with everything you have ever said or thought in your life. 
AUTO ARRAREGH DVATEMAN MAMO SEPAHEH-HAST.= It is exceptionally kind of you to allow me to travel in the trunk of your car. 
FASHAL-EH TUPEHMAN NA DEGAT MANO GOFTAM CHEESHAYEH MOHEMA RAJEBEH KESHAVAREHMAN.= If you will do me the kindness of not harming my genital appendages I will gladly reciprocate by betraying my country in public. 
KHREL JEPAHEH MANEH VA JAYEII AMRKAHEY.= I will tell you the names and addresses of many American spies travelling as reporters. BALLI, BALLI, BALLI!= Whatever you say! 
MATERNIER GHERMEZ AHLIEH, GORBAN.= The red blindfold would be lovely, excellency. 
TIKEH NUNEH BA OB KHRELEH BEZORG VA KHRUBE GOYAST INO BERGERAM.= The water-soaked bread crumbs are delicious, thank you. I must have the recipe. 
BA BODENEH SHEERELL TEEGZ.= Truly, I would rather be a hostage to your greatly esteemed self than to spend a fortnight upon the person of Cheryl Tiegs. 

source: http://www.jokes4us.com/religiousjokes/islamicjokes.html

I found them funnyyyyy so Im deviating from the usual policy of only having my writing here! 

Saturday, February 18, 2017

And then came Hope...

Picking up the pieces,

And then came Hope...

 

    

Book Launch: "Picking up the Pieces" by Marilyn Wouters

Venue: Black Cat Cafe B&B 11, Wijerama Mawatha Colombo 7

Date and Time: 11 December Sunday 11am-5pm

To order the book locally: email Wouters.marilyn@gmail.com or call 0778 002136.

Internationally available from Amazon.com

Find Marilyn on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mwouters

 

By Chandrika Gadiewasam

 

"Picking up the Pieces" is the inspiring, uplifting and adventure filled autobiography of Marilyn Wouters, a self proclaimed "crazy cat lady," who has showered her love and dedicated caring on countless abandoned, desperate and disabled stray cats and kittens in Sri Lanka for a number of years now.

 

Marilyn who was searching for a nice warm country to retire and relax in, picked Sri Lanka in preference to Thailand, Indonesia ,and other south Asian countries and came over in 2010 with a rescued husky and two hunting dogs, because she found a house by the beach with a wall around it. She  didn't know what life had in store for her when she adopted two abandoned kittens who had strayed into her backyard.

 

You'll read about various incredible trials, tribulations, and adventures spanning many countries in continents from Europe, UAE, Africa, UAE  and then Asia,and how a Dutch/Swiss Dental Assistant became a successful educationalist and then hardcore animal rescuer, for many years carrying her work through only on her pension funds.

 

PICKING UP THE PIECES shares those moments of hope and success that make worthwhile the life of any animal rescuer from foraging for halmasso at the local pola, to difficult budgeting and funds management and to fighting courageously to save the lives of numerous blind, day old  orphans dumped at the Ark. Marilyn is expert at how to save the almost-certainly-doomed. For the most part there is no one to really help Marilyn who has to feed, care for and clean up after the many furry patients, because her domestics turn their noses up at this "ikky" work.

Marilyns first rescue 2012 was a dumped kitten called Gypsie, many others followed then such as Milou in 2014 with paralysed back legs,  who was incapable of moving for about 14 months until it was decided to amputate her back legs. This was a courageous and difficult decision but now Milou is one of the extra feisty stars of the Marilyns Ark Facebook page,and climbs trees, chairs and obstacles and defends her turf from other cats with aplomb.

In 2016  "HOPE" became a Star Survivor, a gentle crippled black beauty who was discovered pregnant and paralysed, and in need of constant care, who however herself adopted and mothered a number of helpless newborn kittens. Hope's story is one of great courage and luck and she now has a fan following of thousands from around the world, including people who have been through comparable hardships.

There are a number of established organisations in Sri Lanka looking after dogs, but none for the cats so Marilyn's dream is to set up Le Kittenerium, a shelter for abandoned, disabled, and paralysed cats in Sri Lanka, including a free cat clinic. ALL PROCEEDS of the sales of the book will go towards this the support of her work helping desperate cats and kittens so if there is one book you buy for Christmas, please make it this one. You can also, on FaceBook, like Marilyn's Ark or LE KITTENARIUM to keep in touch with the wonderful antics of Hope, Milou and Marilyn's other special fur babies. Picking Up The Pieces is available on Amazon USA, UK and Germany.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Your Job or Your Man. Which would you chose?

-unsociabAl

Yesterday, friends, was one of those days. I was rained on, shat upon (by a crow) almost had about two and a half road accidents and had my lunch breach into my handbag, karola hodi and all. It was bad. You could say it held a series of irritating little incidents for a working woman and certainly they are nothing much to write home about since they were little but they were indeed irritating and as such built into one single day I was rather amazed. Was it me or the country or the planets? Does this sort of thing happen to you too?




The crux of my day was something like this – after a local TV station was set fire to and I was woken rudely at 5 45 with a text message on the subject,  I dozen off again into a rather sad nightmare that I was fighting with my dear brother, which is strange and quite disturbing. IN the first place, touch wood, I hardly have nightmares and in the second place he is not  a fighting man so we hardly ever squabble…then there was the confusing vision of a helicopter landing in my back yard which I shall skim…so: I woke late..dressed in a hurry, raced to work and found that the road was closed…took a detour and found myself dodging annoyed traffic in Bambalapitiya at nine forty five..

In the meantime my line manager and another fussy client I had promised to meet early in the day were calling me and demanding justifiably where I was. Stressful. Saying Bambalapitiya would not have worked since that is nowhere near my office..

By close to ten I was getting quite hysterical and speeding around the one way lanes in desperation, plunging along at about double the speed I usually do and narrowly missing not one but two tangles, and getting yelled at in dubious Sinhala (justifiably mind you) by fellow commuters. Office, when I reached it was a blur of high pressure assignments which I cant remember except that at one point a lady acquaintance  called me on the phone and said rather hysterically that I was a fool for having "let my husband go" which cause me to pause everything and smile. I had let him go about ten years ago and been happy ever since, and the problem was that she did not want to let hers go although she could not live with him either , so she was judging me seriously.

Im not often called a fool to my face and while I appreciate her point blank honesty I did a short and sharp analysis of what she was talking about and found it an interesting paradox. I have a total of  four close women friends at the moment who are going through the most amazing painful emotional tortures (amply complemented with generous dollops of physical domestic violence) simply to somehow "hold on to their man" meaning of course to prevent some other woman from taking him. They give complex supposedly sentimental reasons for this attachment but since these are interspersed with randomly voiced desires to have their prince stoned to death, voodoo-ed away  or at least mildly amputated* I assume it isn't actually old fashioned romantic LOVE that keeps them together. In fact I have a serious suspicion that the critical factors are more about inertia, social expectations and economic benefits. But the results of these conflicts are disturbing. I honestly think Sri Lankan ladies take this whole man-holding thing way too seriously, until it becomes an dark obsession.  In turns I get the most brilliant SMSs updating me on their valiant efforts to track the male icon of their lives, to infiltrate his communications (ie hack his mobile or analyze the bill, track his evening travel, frame his girlfriend, what have you) to monitor his movements, to beg, whine, threaten, scream  and occasionally cajole sometimes with promises of unusual sexual favours, the man of their lives into staying with them, and sometimes to kill themselves or their man or both and the Other woman too,  in various very creative ways.

It seems a never ending battle involving tears, violence and hysteria , observed continuously by the traumatised bug-eyed off spring who huddle crying and praying under beds…and culminating in partial insanity for both spouses not to mention the unfortunate children who will need impressive amounts of counseling later on. And as for the Other Woman, really is it so difficult to find a man of your own? **

Each time I listen to these stories I thank the stars for my job.

It's a tough job, it's a demanding job and sometimes its an annoying job which makes me put in lots of extra hours - but it means that I don't have to depend on a man. I have been blessed with understanding superiors and pleasant co workers so far so it's a fairly "do able" job with bearable income. So Im lucky. And Im actually occupied!  Perhaps if I was a rich heiress and didn't have to do a job I would have time to latch myself onto some unfortunate male, make his life claustrophobic, and sit around busily fending off Other women but, no I don't. There's paperwork to handle, the occasional article to write and I have too many interesting hobbies to list so the whole full time man-holding thing will have to be bypassed. I honestly can't be bothered. J

……………………………………………………………………………………………

* you know where I mean, ladies.

** Or to come up with some amicable time sharing agreement or something …

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Saving Munchi PART TWO



Part 2

Part 1 at  this link


Munchi is a small stray cow who was running around Salawatte injured and frightened for a number of months, with no one able to catch her to medicate her. Citizens had called vets, govt departments, the police, no one had helped. With the help of village cow-handlers, two working housewives from Wellampitiya managed to organise the rescue but now the issue was how to save her from the other people like butchers and cow thiefs who could be watching the situation.


Wellampitiya  is known in Sri Lanka for it's drug addicts, criminals and underworld gangs. Shootouts, drug stashes and mysterious disappearances are rife. Men came and stood in rows staring at her and some fed her absurd amounts of bread which constipated her pitiably. I had to draft a notice against such.And Zeenath and I would surely lose our jobs and be bankrupted if we had to feed her so many kilos of fodder a day in the city.


So we needed to transport her out to safer pastures. I picked Hanwella because the original cowboys who rescued her were from that area and because it's a pastoral area ideal for a retired bovine. There were rolling stretches of greenery where she would be allowed to live in peace.

But there was massive red tape to go through.

The cow was presumed ownerless but I didn't want some butcher to pop up and get me arrested for cattle theft.

The last thing I needed was to have to beg people to get me out of jail. So I asked my neighbours to confirm they had no objection to me removing her to a safer location. Twenty signatures and a grama sevaka approval later we needed 1) veterinary certificates of health 2) traffic permits once the lorry was approved to transport her 3) Vetinary approval of the lorry we would use 4)approval from the divisional secretariat that she could be transported. Each of these documents needed a set of sub documents or things for approval, for example the cow and the transporter had to be inspected by the veterinarian etc etc

It's not as easy as it sounds on a tight budget ...the lorry from hanwella, one of the very few who agreed to transport a live animal especially a bulky and unpredictable cow...was charging 7500 and that was just to take the cow there. It was busy at that time (30th December 2016) on some other work and could not come to Colombo for the agriculture office to stamp their approval

We had just a few hours to get through all this red tape before govt offices closed for the year....the lorry was still in hanwella 2 hours away...roads were clogged with last minute shoppers...govt offices were closing and the vet was saying he would have to go in the field in the afternoon...which was of course a euphemism for I've-had -enough-of-this-I-want-to-go-home-early-it's friday-the-30th...

We begged and grovelled for him to stay.

My rescuer  partner Zeenath hit on the idea of getting the photos of the lorry watsapped to us. Certain relevant officials noted that I had a media identity card and subsequently decided to understand the difficulty we were in and that it was inadvisable to keep her in Salawatte on the night of the 31st. They agreed to bend rules and sign the approval on printed photos of the truck. The truck driver on the other hand was struggling bravely with technology and took about 45 minutes to wire the photos.This is not the first heroic thing he did

And by the time the transporters photos came in, the owner of the communication store in front of the agrarian office had gone out to lunch...

I nearly burst into tears because it was almost 3 pm ...time to close counters in govt offices… I grovelled at a large flaccid young man sitting in for the communications operator and he gave me a very cool rude look of "no-can-do-dumb-cow-now-get-your-knickers-untwisted-and-go-somewhere-else-with-your-stupid-sob-story."I am not imagining things, I know attitude when I see it. And here I was taking attitude from a man who claimed he did not know how to check email…

I gave up with it and took the phone along to the vet, who looked at the photos and signed the form,sternly telling us that we must use that particular truck and no other. We pelted, in a stand by tuk tuk, to the Divisional Secretariat office in Kolonnawa.

And then a certain guy at the divisional secretariat, whose task it is to officiate the matter of cattle transport,   rudely and condescendingly told us that the counters had closed at 3 pm and didn't we know it was 3 26.. Sarcasm rudeness patronising condescension everything out public sector employees are best known for all rolled together with derision for two stupid women who were trying to save a cow....no I don't have to look at your cow photos he sneered adding that the payments counter was closed so they could not process the matter. And the official payment was 50 rupees ...the price of one Cheap local cigarette.


He was ready to insist on this formal payment- and make my friend, a woman on a crutch, go back home.

We knew that if Munchi was kept in Salawatte over the 31st a lot of uncomfortable things could happen to her including cownapping and slaughter. Her purported owner the hindu Oracle had allowed her free, she was technically ownerless, butchers had been eyeing her..We had to keep her tied due to the medications we were spraying on her...but the very fact she was tied mean that here was about a hundred thousand rupees in unsupervised walking beef tied to a jak tree in the seediest, most criminal infested area in the marshes of Wellampitiya.


Also my friend Zeenath  and I had taken the last of our annual leave and vacation and were at the ends of our budgets…so Zeenath pitifully begged the chubby DS man to help and with much attitude and pomposity he went through the motions.


Then just at that moment a very distinguished looking slim young man with files in his  hand came over and greeted Zeenath and talked to her. Unlike the rude cleric he listened to our story and with serious concern looked at the photos of our silly cow.The snooty cleric in the background looked rather shaken when he saw this and shuffled his papers with more genuine effort. It turned out his enthusiasm was because the gentleman who was talking to us was a Western Province UNP provincial counsellor....


So at 4 pm on the 30th after about 6 hours of going round and round we got the cattle transport permit to hand went and gave Munchi some food and went home to frankly collapse with exhaustion in my case and Zeenath limped home to cook for her husband.Tomorrow was Saturday December the 31 and we had to get Munchi up into a small truck and onto the noisy streets of Colombo. She was young, traumatised, hated men, and weighed half a tonne…


I worried a lot because I had no idea how this could possibly be done. Munchi was terrified traumatised no nonsense determination....we only had a small Mahindra truck to put her in. That's a bit like putting a large and angry muzzled bulldog into a kitchen sink...there could be more trauma.Down came the Hanwella Cowboys Lal and another fellow led by the Honcho Prasad and things began to happen so quickly we were spellbound like watching a movie.One of the boys expertly lassoed our grumbling girl which happened in a blink of the eye too quick for us to record. The rest of the process is on record...how a resisting angry traumatised bovine anxiety was gently but firmly trapped and pulled towards the truck.Then miraculously she was in and on her way to greener pastures! Prasad was in the front of the truck with the files of official documentation and Munchis yellow ear tag and worm spray bottle.


And I followed in a bus biting my nails.


Munchi is now retired in a large beautiful land in Hanwella. She didn't like the look of her first adopter who was a dark very bulky man with a rather startling face. If you shut your eyes and thought African Butcher whatever picture you come up with is what Lal looks like. Practically a doppelganger of the late Ugandan Idi Amin. I don't think it's polite to judge people by their looks but clearly Munchi had not got that memo because each time he touched her rope she charged off like a runaway rhino until poor Lal got tired of the rope burns and being dragged for miles and returned her in disgust. So now she lives in quiet pastoral retirement with Prasads mother and niece who are allowed to stroke her head and hand feed her so long as they don't touch the rope which she is touchy about.



There are three important lessons I have learnt from Munchi's rescue

1 There is no official organisation in Sri Lanka mandated to help a distressed domestic animal.

2 Regular housewives can sometimes succeed at a task that has confounded strong men. you just need to be positive.

3 Even if you are born destined to be barbecued if you have the right attitude you can be brave take no bullshit and drag yourself to freedom, as this stubborn little brown cow had.


And of course- that there are a lot of loving positive people around to be found in the unlikeliest of places <3



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Wound healed fast due to very professional attention of SKYPET vets


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Here she is recovering with a small furry friend


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She recognises me and comes close - sometimes . othertimes she runs a mile


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In her element the jungle